Chickpeas in a Spicy Aromatic Gravy

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Chickpeas in a Spicy Aromatic Gravy

Though I don't adhere to a vegan diet as I do so enjoy cheese, yogurt and eggs on occasion, most of my main meals are decidedly vegan. That's easy as I happen to enjoy Indian cooking and there is a plethora of dishes that are superb without any dairy. And it is not just Indian cuisine either that can be made without dairy. When a recipe calls for yogurt or cream, I think creamy coconut milk. Traditional potato and Caesar salads can be dressed up with an avocado-based alternative. Just to cite a few examples. But moving along to the recipe… and a short review;

Surely I have enough cookbooks to start a small bonfire. In addition to the books, I have tons of bookmarked recipes and printouts waiting to happen. So I don't really need any more cookbooks, but sometimes there are a few that catch my interest and all restraint is thrown into the wind.

My latest purchase was a copy of Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen. I have been following Richa's blog for a good many years now, and there is a wealth of creative and innovative recipes to keep me going for weeks on end, but the idea of a hard copy with carefully selected favorites, complete with beautiful photos, all packed into a neat little volume, piqued my curiosity. And I was not disappointed. In fact, it is one of my newest favorite cookbooks. The beauty about Richa's offerings is that they are traditional, creative and geared also toward home cooks. The recipes are easy to follow with the unique twist that Richa adds to everything she shares. Between the covers are recipes for breakfast, small plates and snacks, vegetable curries, legumes, one-pot meals, mains, flat breads, spice blends, chutneys and even desserts.

The first one I tried was this aromatic chickpea dish. The original recipe calls for sorghum flour, and though I have enough different flours to fill a small freezer, this is one I didn't have on hand. I used whole wheat flour instead. At some point, I am sure I will pick up some sorghum, but in the meantime this dish is not only easy to make, but so flavorful that all you need is some rice to balance out the meal. Buttery soft chickpeas are dressed up with an array of spices and seeds that make your kitchen smell so heavenly you can hardly wait to sit down and enjoy the meal. Spicy yes, but not overpowering because of the aromatics, this one can be made soupy or drier, depending on your preference.

Spicy Chickpeas in a Spicy Sauce

Chickpeas in a Spicy Aromatic GravyChickpeas in a Spicy Aromatic Gravy
Recipe by
Adapted from Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook
Cuisine: Indian
Published on May 28, 2015

Buttery soft chickpeas simmered in a rich coconut gravy seasoned with aromatic spices and seeds

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or other oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, diced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 to 2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
Spice blend:
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 black cardamon pods, lightly crushed
  • small handful of dried curry leaves
  • 4 dried whole red chilies, broken into bits
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons dried grated unsweetened coconut
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak in enough water to cover for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the chickpeas are buttery soft. Drain and set aside.

  • To make the spice blend, heat a medium or large unoiled frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, cardamon pods and curry leaves. Roast, stirring often, until fragrant and the seeds darken a few shades, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the dried chilies, garam masala, cinnamon, paprika, amchoor powder if using, flour and coconut. Roast, stirring often, for another few minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a small blender or spice grinder. Process until the mixture is turned into a coarse powder. Set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and fry until they turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

  • Stir in the spice blend and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Pour in 2 1/2 cups water, the cooked chickpeas and salt. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water to achieve your desired consistency.

  • Serve hot garnished with fresh chopped cilantro with fresh cooked white basmati rice and/or a savory Indian flatbread.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Chickpeas in a Spicy Aromatic Sauce

I'm sharing this with Jac's Meat Free Monday weekly event and also her monthly bookmarked recipes. Cooks know you can never have enough recipes, though of course, there is never enough time in an entire year to try them all.

More spicy chickpea dishes to enjoy:
Aloo Gobi with Chickpeas
Chickpeas in a Tomato and Tamarind Gravy with Spices
Spicy Sour Chickpea Masala
Spicy Chickpeas in a Tangy Tomato Glaze

On the top of the reading stack: Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking

Audio: Tim Hecker


Joanne said...

Given my total obsession with Indian food, I absolutely must get this cookbook! And make these chickpeas...that sauce just sounds so good.

janet @ the taste space said...

Lovely. When I read through my cookbook, I thought it would be a perfect for for you. So happy you found yourself a copy. :)

Richa said...

Thank you for the wonderful review Lisa! So glad that you picked up the book and now its a favorite! Its been a lot of work with the book and I am so happy everyone is liking it !